Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Mid-December Hockey Thoughts

12/15/2022 at 9:30am EST

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

- I don’t believe in absolutes. Feelings change over time. What you think today might not be what you think tomorrow, and everyone should avoid emotional decisions. That said, we’re 11 weeks from the trade deadline, and it’s getting extremely hard to see Bo Horvat wearing a Johnny Canuck reverse retro past March 3.

I don’t profess to know Horvat well, but here’s my amateur psychology: he’s very proud to be Vancouver’s captain, definitely capable of handling the Canadian microscope. But he prefers to keep the spotlight at arm’s length and does not like his business splashed over the internet like a Kardashian. Horvat won’t do the hockey equivalent of smashing 62 home runs like Aaron Judge in the all-time contract season, but he sure doesn’t seem distracted — on-pace for 59 goals heading into Wednesday’s game in Calgary. In his mind: summers are for talking, seasons are for playing....

- It’s been such a hard season in Anaheim that one exec wondered if it would hurt players’ trade value — especially the UFAs. Really hard to ramp up to playoff/contender mode if deals don’t happen for a couple more months.

- OK, Board of Governors. I admit I left West Palm Beach shaking my head at the salary-cap situation. In the days leading up to the meeting, every conversation with a player, agent or team exec included a discussion about the cap — specifically how to boost it by more than $1 million this summer. One governor indicated the message was league revenues are up about nine per cent, but still could be short of what will be needed to raise the ceiling by $4 million instead of $1 million. More high-revenue teams in the playoffs could help for sure (Seattle is already a top-five revenue NHL team, so its rise is a bonus), but an added layer of pessimism it can happen.

“The sense I get from the questions I’m getting asked,” said commissioner Gary Bettman, “Is somehow there’s an expectation that the cap should be going up more. That’s not what the agreement provides for based on the current circumstances.” The wildest thing about this is Bettman himself was the one who brought up a rise in October — basically out of nowhere.

more on the first topic plus other Thoughts too...

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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